Faculty Letter to NYU Administration and John Sexton

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Faculty Letter to the NYU Administration and John Sexton

Five years ago, NYU faculty expressed their voices over whether our administration should recognize the right of graduate student employees to decide democratically whether or not to unionize. The debate was a worthy airing of faculty opinion, and the subsequent election, in which graduate students expressed their wish to be represented by GSOC, was a genuinely historic step. Since then, NYU has proudly stood alone, among private colleges, in respecting the employee rights of its graduate students. The financial stability, health, and general well-being of our students have improved greatly, and our academic culture has been enhanced as a result.

Last summer, the Bush-appointed National Labor Relations Board rescinded its 2000 decision obliging private universities to respect the right of their graduate student employees to unionize. This recent decision does not prevent NYU from voluntarily reaching an agreement with the democratically elected student union. However, the administration has not declared its intention, and the current GSOC contract expires at the end of August.

Once again, faculty have the opportunity to support the rights and benefits that GSOC has secured for as many as a thousand of our students. We, the undersigned, believe that NYU should negotiate in good faith with the student employees over their terms and conditions of employment. We urge the administration to announce that it intends to do so.